Spotted: New SRAM AXS Paddle in Finale Ligure

Sep 28, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  

While we know it isn't for everyone, we're huge fans of the SRAM AXS groupset. Mountain biking's first wireless groupset may cost as much as some bikes, but it's a great option for those who can afford it, and we now see it on every SRAM sponsored riders' bike at the EWS.

The groupset was first released in February 2019, and while we've seen some prototypes of other versions, it looks like it might be about to get its first real update. We spotted this new paddle on the bike of Iago Garay, but it has also made its way onto plenty of other pro's bikes this weekend in Finale Ligure and it look totally revised from the current AXS version.

SRAM Eagle AXS XX1 review
The current version of the AXS paddle is pentagonal and flatter.

The old paddle was pentagon shaped and designed to be easy to reach for any hand shape. This new paddle looks to be more similar in shape to a conventional shifter with a long, thin profile. It looks like the ergonomics have been worked on too, and this narrower shape should conform around the shape of an outstretched thumb a bit better. We also notice that it has been given a more textured surface for better grip in wet conditions.

The rest of the shifter body looks to be unchanged.

We have reached out to SRAM for further details and will update you if they give us any more information.

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Member since Nov 14, 2018
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Must Read This Week

  • 116 9
 I have full axs on two bikes and friggin love them. They help keep my hands flexible for all those root canals and extractions I do. The pedals are 100% fine and didn't need tweaking. What is needed is a lower price point for wireless components.
  • 9 1
  • 32 0
 @Canieto1: I can't tell if this is a joke, given how much anti-dentist shitposting goes on here
  • 17 0
 You just about boomed me into writing a long reply until I read your comment again.
  • 61 1
 @Jshemuel: I'm not actually a dentist, but I spend money on bikes like I am one. I really do have AXS dropper and drivetrain on two bikes, they really are amazing and really do need to be cheaper.
  • 12 0
 @Canieto1: You must be an anti-dentite. Kramer says so.
  • 6 0
 @tacklingdummy: lol! He's switching to Judaism just for the jokes!
  • 1 0
 Gold. ????
  • 2 0
 Those questions marks should have been a sniley face. That one has to make the podcast.
  • 36 1
 but but but,,,, it costs more than Trump's tax that he paid in 2017!
  • 15 0
 @coyoterun: actually, i found my axs upgrade drivetrains on sale for $749/each so it was actually just less than he paid. I did write off the depreciation on them tho...
  • 8 0
 @brianpark: I applaud you on your due diligence for reading it again. Please floss daily.
  • 4 0
 @Canieto1: you bought 2. I don't think you are making a good argument for Sram to lower the price! lol
  • 3 0
 @conoat: I mean, they can't rely on everyone to be as reckless with money as I am. Haha! Good point, tho.
  • 1 1
 And for some reason people still like the jerry dentist joke, STILL...
  • 2 0
 A lower priced version would help to bridge the gap.
  • 1 0
 @Canieto1: I'm a dentist and a heeb (just for the brisket and jokes). However, I don't give AF about AXS.
  • 2 0
 @hellbelly: maybe you should. It's awesome! AXS I mean... ????
  • 3 1
 @Canieto1: I knew you're not a real dentist! Bitching about high prices of components gave you away
  • 4 0
 @MrEtnie: I am sure AXS is great and I've played with it on a bike at a shop. The thing is while I am no Luddite, I find all shifting in the Eagle non-electric range to be excellent. I am huge fan of simplicity and I've owned bikes with XO1, GX and NX shifting all of which have been fantastic as well as being virtually indistinguishable. I am also not really a cheapskate, but I question if I will get an additional $600+ enjoyment/performance on my rides from having it. Case in point, I am building a new bike this week and while waiting to get all of the odds and ends for it together I've ridden my steel Honzo with it's NX drivetrain (bought the drivetrain used/take off for barely over $100). It has been bulletproof, shifting perfectly and is a blast to ride. Maybe if I was racer or weight weenie I'd care, but it's fun so eff it.
  • 1 0
 One day they'll be affordable. I think R&D is too high rn which results in a high price that many people can't afford, which results again in a high price
  • 2 0
 @hellbelly: Sound reasoning. It's not at all $600+ better, but it is still better, by a bit. If you find a rental with one, try it. Especially the dropper post not having a cable makes maintenance and height adjust so much more fun (in comparison to stealth posts I mean).
Also I'm an idiot in setting up drive trains. With AXS it's idiot proof. Wink
  • 21 0
 My god, this changes everything
  • 25 11
 Good cuz the old one was a joke. How did they think anyone’s thumbs worked like that? How did any test rider give that the thumbs up? Cuz they’re just in it for the free shit?
And the amount of people saying “oh it’s okay you get used to it” just cuz they want to be 100% behind their purchase.
  • 7 0
 you shift it up from over the top. it's absolutely brilliant.
  • 13 1
 This is beyond first world problems.
  • 6 0
 @conoat: Shimano shifters do the same thing and it's so sweet.
  • 6 18
flag bigtard (Sep 28, 2020 at 22:46) (Below Threshold)
 @conoat: that finger is for braking.
That finger is only for braking. If you don’t know what that fingers for.
You don’t know what fingers are for.
And you could be way better at biking if you fingered it out.
  • 9 0
 @bigtard: how many times do you feel the need to shift up while braking, Bigtard?
  • 5 0
 @atauro: yeah, I had multiple XT/XTR groupsets that did that. It obviously takes more force to shift that way with a mechanical shifter, but when you are out of the saddle and charging, it's perfect for upshifting.
  • 2 1
 @mollow: I’m not sure why you’re defending the function of a product that could easily have been made more ergonomic.
I know you can shift with your finger.
But what would be even better is if the shifter paddles were where your thumb wants to be. Pretty simple that you want to separate your shifting and braking digits.
  • 1 2
 @bigtard: if you actually tried it, you would know that you can do both. But I guess it's easier to be a troll, Bigtard.
  • 1 1
 I've done a test ride on an AXS groupset and it seemed fine to me, I think you might be overreacting a bit. The up to shift up and down to shift down confused me though, I'm more used to the other way around from cable-operated drivetrains. I guess it could be better or different though if that's what you're trying to get at.
  • 1 1
 @mollow: you know how I know you don’t know where your shifter and brake controls should be?
Because I’m trying to talk about where your shifter and brake controls should be.
And you’re trying to talk about how I’m a troll.
  • 2 0
 @bigtard: thing is your focusing on his comment where he said you can shift with your finger from the top, but you seem to dismiss the actual way of shifting is with your thumb, Bigtard. How did you survive this long?
  • 1 0
 @mollow: no you’re just jumping into a comment that wasn’t directed at you. And you’re missing the plot.
I understand how the shifter works in its entirety. Shifts great. Poor ergonomics.
  • 1 0
 Well the comments I'm replying to are aimed at me, Bigtard. And no the ergonomics are not poor. Try one, you'll see. Better luck next time!
  • 1 0
 @mollow: usually when people don’t notice things that other people do. It’s the person that doesn’t notice that’s just settling for something that could be better.
So congratulations on your ability to be happy with mediocre.
Myself I am not and I’ve had my junk all over your shifters.
  • 1 0
 @bigtard: sure, Bigtard. You're the only one who understands.
  • 2 0
 @mollow: as an XC racer I go rapidly between braking and shifting up all the time. He’s right that the pointer finger is best left on the brake and you shouldn’t have to readjust your hand to shift.
  • 1 0
 I just got an AXS bike this week and holy cow the ergonomics of that upshift paddle are bad! I have large hands and can still barely reach the paddle without adjusting my grip.
  • 2 0
 @nattyd: for sure need some time to get used to it, as the same and position is not entirely the same as the mechanical SRAM shifter.

I did found out, I do not like the stock default shift settings. Good thing the app allow you switch which direction you want to shift up and down. I also disabled the one-click multi-shift.

Very tempting to get a 2nd set for the other bike.....
  • 2 0
 @mollow: that’s sweet bud. You’re standing in the way of progress and acting like I’m the dick.
Good thing it’s only bike parts or you’d be a real problem.
  • 1 0
 @coyoterun: Thanks for the tips—I just spend some time playing around with the settings. I'm going to order the new paddles now that they're available, but I'm still interested in using the stock one for a bit to see if I can get used to it.
  • 7 1
 The picture here doesn't even show the full shape of the new paddles. The now mirror the standard shifter setup so you can go back and forth between regular and AXS without issue. With the current design, at least for me, it got really confusing swapping bikes back and forth and remembering which shifter did what. Plus as others have said you need to unwrap your hand to shift.

The good part about the upgrade is that it is a $1 part which takes 30 seconds to change. Please someone could 3D print one on their own if Sram tries to overcharge for it.
  • 2 0
 The best way to learn shifting the AXS paddle is to forget everything you know about shifting regular bikes. I only have AXS bikes now and it's second nature, but it took having it on two bikes to fully forget what I've been so used to over the last 20 years.
  • 3 0
 I'm genuinely surprised no one has brought any aftermarket paddles to the market yet.
  • 1 0
 @seraph: that was my solutions as well. AXS for the analog, AXS for the eBike, AXS for the road bike....
  • 1 3
 only a complete retard could be confused by it
  • 12 10
 Why are both shifter paddles not placed UNDER the bar — so you don’t have to remove your thumb from under the bar (which greatly reduces bar grip, especially in rough terrain)? They could very easily place electronic shifters (or cable shifters) just inboard of where your thumb sits under the bar...and well forward of the bar horizontal-center.
  • 38 7
 Because who changes gear going thru a rock garden?
  • 13 28
flag WRCDH (Sep 28, 2020 at 13:52) (Below Threshold)
 @zyoungson: Apparently you’re not winning races Smile
  • 9 1
 @zyoungson: Same with dropper levers. Forward and under the bar right inboard of where your thumb sits is just better in every way. Removing your thumb from under the bar is just not as preferable as leaving it under — in every situation.
  • 2 0
 You can shift axs w/ index finger (a button up front on the shifter controller or whatever their marketing decided the word for shifter should be)
  • 7 2
 If we're presuming that the photo of the AXS shifter is belonging to an EWS racer bike, any keyboard warriors opinion on setup is probably not relevant.
  • 3 3
 @wheelforge: Naw...they ride what they’re option for them to create their own custom shifter, really. Remember my comment in 5 years when all shifters and dropper levers are where I’ve suggested — under and forward.
  • 3 2
 @wheelforge: Don't worry, WRCDH will be along soon to say that he's actually an ex pro
  • 7 11
flag WRCDH (Sep 28, 2020 at 14:36) (Below Threshold)
 @N-60: Yup, experience and knowledge of what’s been done and what works, is important. For example, this insight comes from M952 XTR up-shifters (and even original X0) — you can hit them by flicking your thumb just a little sideways / backward while under the bar. Makes a big difference...then you can shift and power out of a rough corner or section and not have to remove your thumb from under the bar. And when you ride with people like DS national champ Bart McDaniel, Chris Kovarik, and Luke Strobel, you see that they win races by pedaling like a maniac at EVERY chance (pedaling in places where lesser riders would never think of getting 3-4 pedal strokes)...and always being in the right gear is critical...even if shifting before, or in, a gnarly section so you’re in the right gear upon exit.
  • 1 0
 Because... Surprise rock garden! Get you every time.
  • 4 1
 I totally agree. I have XX1 AXS and while the shifting is basically perfect every time; I absolutely loath the shifter location. The shifter position alone makes me regret not buying XTR instead.
  • 4 6
 @TBaldwin90: Good input! Hoping SRAM takes notice. Turns out I worked with one of their new board members in the composites / aerospace industry, so maybe I’ll ping them. Better shifter position isn’t just about feel-preference and speed & performance (related to bar grip) — it’s also about safety (I’ve nearly lost my grip when removing my thumb from the bar to hit my dropper and also down-shifting with an ill-placed paddle).
  • 2 0
 @Grosey: Yes because I want to use my braking finger for shifting
  • 2 0
 Agreed. Questionable ergonomics on the current paddle.
  • 1 0
 Small hands?
  • 1 0
 @WRCDH: then there"s the pumping method that works just as well as Gwin
  • 1 0
 @klerric: On the right track...on the wrong kind of track, forget about it. You ain’t gonna see anyone winning a slalom race when breaking a chain after the first corner...nor most DH tracks, Gwin included.
  • 1 0
 You have to be quite careful with that sort of thing though - it would risk accidental shifts. I occasionally bump my mechanical upshift lever and it's so annoying...
  • 1 0
 @zyoungson: If downhill garden ends with an incline, yea. If uphill garden gets tougher, yea. So...yea.
  • 1 0
 @WRCDH: Err... yea, there's at least one racer who has a custom 3D printed paddle.
  • 1 0
 @andrewbikeguide: Sorry to offend you. It is ok to let off your brakes sometimes.
  • 1 0
 @klerric: Agree. I pump all the climbs.
  • 1 0
 @Grosey: ha ha impressive
  • 3 1
 What was wrong with the standard XO/XO1 shifters ergonomics? They should have made them identical there mechanical shifters. Personal preference, but why when we go electronic do they have to completely change the ergonomics? The roadies got almost the same action from mechanical to ETAP/AXS road - it is not fair!

While I prefer Shimano mechanical shifters - the eagle shifters are really good!
  • 3 1
 That tattoo of a rocket on the thumb though, looks like it was done with a sharpie :p
  • 2 0
 Only .0001 off and no recall
  • 2 0
 But where will they put the huge eagle?
  • 2 0
 Am I the only one seeing a third button in the background?
  • 1 2
 I get this is top notch but for me it's not needed. You can easily get roped into the tech but I always think 'will it make me faster' nope....sounds good when changing gear though...
  • 1 0
 Isn’t that a second shifter paddle behind? Hopefully going to a two paddle setup like their cable shifters
  • 1 0
 Omg how I've been waiting. Never again will I shift with those antiquated paddles.
  • 2 0
 take it away James!
  • 1 0
 Awaiting updates with bated breath....
  • 1 0
 Come on shimano bring di2 for mtb once more
  • 1 0
 Been waiting for this. BWAHAHA
  • 1 0
 The inanity of MTB media in a skow year.
  • 1 0
 I want that new shifter. NOW! ????
  • 2 2
 when will it come in grip shift? I'm in....
  • 1 4
 Sram cant hold his shit together without introducing the same parts every year. So when you buy something new, they tweak that part up for the next year and you no longer have something new. That's why Shimano rules.
  • 6 7
 How long before someone jams the frequency during competition?
  • 5 1
 Radio jammers are illegal. Nobody wants to get imprisoned just to win a race.
  • 2 2
 Or jams their saddle full-height into their rear =P
  • 15 4
 @MaplePanda: "Nobody wants to get imprisoned just to win a race." Have you heard of Tour de France? Or maybe Richie Rude if you're an enduroficionado?
Cheaters everywhere man!
  • 4 0
 The amount of power to do this is quite immense. By design, these work on private network with keys that pair the two pieces together. You might be able to jam one if you had a couple hundred wifi routers pointed at a specific spot, but practically it's very unlikely to get RF noise high enough on a trail to do what you suggest.
  • 2 2
 @audric: Yeah, but TdF riders cheat to win. This would be cheating to encumber opponents. No guaranteed performance increase for the perpetrator.
  • 4 0
 @audric: Well...that’s delving into “it’s only illegal when you get caught”. Mr Armstrong got his wins all stripped from him. I imagine it wouldn’t be hard to identify the one rider with a cell tower sticking out the back of their jersey or whatever!
  • 2 0
 @MaplePanda: Or which rider always comes by when the raw hotdogs spontaneously cook.
  • 2 0
 @MaplePanda: says 2nd place.
  • 2 2
 my dentist is pumped!
  • 1 1
 Fake news!
  • 3 6
 review tomorrow
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